5 Causes of Tooth Pain

causes of tooth pain

5 Causes of Tooth Pain

Tooth pain is one of the most common complaints among dental patients. However, it can be tricky to diagnose at home because there are so many different causes of tooth pain. Here at Prescott Dentistry, we want to help you understand why you might be experiencing a toothache so you can get relief as soon as possible. 

1. Sensitivity

Sensitivity in the teeth happens when dentin, the layer under the tooth enamel, is exposed. The hard enamel serves to protect the softer underlying layer of dentin. So when the enamel wears down, the dentin is exposed and sensitivity occurs. Sensitivity is usually characterized by pain upon eating or drinking something hot or cold.

2. Decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of tooth pain. Tooth decay can develop on the sides or tops of your tooth enamel without being noticed for quite awhile. Once the decay begins to progress toward an infection, you may begin noticing a toothache. However, it is important to note that cavities are not always painful, which is one reason why you should see us for regular dental exams. 

3. Cracked Tooth 

It may seem obvious that this would cause pain, but there are some cases where a tooth can just crack very slightly, to the point that it causes pain but the crack itself is nearly invisible. We can help determine if this is the cause of your pain. Symptoms can vary from inconsistent pain that may come and go with chewing to sudden pain when your tooth is exposed to very hot or cold temperatures.

4. Dental Work

Recent fillings or other dental work involving drilling can temporarily make the nerve endings of your teeth more sensitive. Sensitivity or pain from a procedure may last up to two weeks but should resolve on its own. Let us know if your pain persists.

5. Tooth abscess

An infection, or abscess, in the mouth can be life-threatening and should be dealt with immediately. Abscesses are pockets of infection (pus) that develop around the root of a tooth or between the teeth and gums. They are very serious in that they can cause damage to surrounding tissue and teeth—the infection can also spread to other parts of the body if left untreated, possibly becoming life-threatening. The tooth pain associated with an abscess may be throbbing and may radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear.

Other symptoms of a tooth abscess include:

  • Sensitivity 
  • Fever
  • Swelling 
  • Swollen, painful lymph nodes under your jaw or in your neck
  • Sudden rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting, salty fluid in your mouth accompanied by pain relief, if the abscess bursts
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

Give us a Call 

If you are experiencing tooth pain, schedule an appointment with us right away. We can determine the root cause of your pain in order to know how to best treat it. Let our experienced practitioners at Prescott Dentistry help you so that you don’t have to continue living with pain. In our next post we’ll look at several more potential causes of tooth pain.